Climbing to Kilimanjaro’s mountain top as stewards of God’s creation

Members of the Marangu Conference pose for a group photo after the blessing for the two climbers with the LWF banner. Photo: David Adgea/ELCC
Members of the Marangu Conference pose for a group photo after the blessing for the two climbers with the LWF banner. Photo: David Adgea/ELCC

An opportunity to raise awareness about environmental destruction

(LWI) – Experienced mountain climbers begin a four-day trek to the highest peak of Mt Kilimanjaro today as part of 60th anniversary celebrations of the Lutheran communion in Africa.

“We’ll make sure we get to the top of the mountain to represent the Lutheran church in Africa,” said 26-year-old Harold Minja at a send-off blessing service on 19 May at the Marangu Teachers’ Training College in Moshi. The college grounds was the venue of the first All-Africa Lutheran Conference in 1955.

The climb starts as over 200 delegates from The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) member churches in Africa and global Lutheran leaders gather, 20-24 May, in Moshi to celebrate 60 years since the first Marangu gathering. Hosted by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania (ELCT), participants will also prepare for the 500th Reformation anniversary and the LWF Twelfth Assembly under the theme “Liberated by God’s Grace.”

ELCT district pastor Rev. Winford Mosha presided at the service for the Marangu-Kilimanjaro climb by ELCT members Minja and 32-year-old Dawson Chonjo. They will climb under the theme, “We are called to be stewards of God’s creation,” highlighting the need for urgent attention to environmental destruction that has contributed to the reduction of Mt Kilimanjaro’s ice cap.

Representing the African Lutheran church as witnesses of the gospel, the two climbers will carry the “stewards of God’s creation” banner to Uhuru peak, the highest point of Mt Kilimanjaro at 5,892.8 meters.

The climbers’ theme resonates with the Marangu jubilee and Reformation discussions. Focus on the 2017 Reformation and LWF Assembly sub-themes will articulate that creation, salvation and human beings are “not for sale.”

Minja and Chonjo will be received back on 24 May by Lutheran church leaders in the context of the Pentecost Sunday celebratory eucharistic service at the Marangu college grounds.

 

Find out more about Marangu 2015